Blast in vehicle combat

Hello there!

Long time haven’t posted, but I’m back and preparing to finish my last campaign!

A question came up in my mind regarding a scene I plan.
The PCs going to be followed to a hideout by a troop transport. They are probably going notice it beforehand and have access to anti-vehicle weaponry.
The question is when you shoot a vehicle with a blast quality weapon how do you handle it? Blast can effect the passengers / crew inside the vehicle or is it strictly for hitting more vehicle traveling in formation?
Even if it didn’t destroy the transport I figured it would make sense to damage the troopers or kill some before the fight. Not sure if it’s allowed per RAW.

Regarding the Blast versus passengers. I would have no problem using the Blast against passengers IF the attack actually hit AND caused damage (made it past Armor/Soak). That would simulate a penetrating round exploding inside the vehicle. Then, I would also be ok with personal-scale targets taking damage if they were outside the vehicle and nearby when the vehicle was hit by an attack with Blast that did not make it through Armor or missed and still activated Blast (with 3 advantage instead of 2 with a hit). Thus, a round hitting the vehicle, not penetrating, exploding outside, and affecting the people standing within range of the Blast.

Perhaps I haven’t had enough coffee yet, but is it spelled out anywhere the scale of Blast? As in when shooting a vehicle scale weapon with Blast, is the Blast rating in vehicle scale also or in personal scale? If vehicle scale, that can be pretty devasting against passengers when using 10x scale damage. Even just a Blast 2 is going to do 20 to the passengers inside.


Thats very helpful thank you! I was thinking of a standard Missile Tube, dmg 20, blast 10, breach 1, so definitely personal scale. Not even sure it will penetrate a troop transport (didn’t check stats yet.)

An Imperial Troop Transport has Armor 2. With Breach bypassing 1 point of Armor and 10x damage adjustment, that personal scale Missile will do 1 base damage if it hits if I’m converting right (base hit with 1 success means 21 damage, converted to 2. Armor removes 1 damage. 1 gets through). They have a 15 Wound Threshold. It will take a while to take it out with those unless a Critical is rolled. That’s why some have gone to 5x scale instead (21 damage becomes 4, armor removes 1, 3 damage applied).

If you go with a hit that makes it through Armor causing Blast damage (also requiring 2 advantage) to the passengers, then it could still be effective against the troops inside. Per core rules the GM can decide to hit multiple people with Blast in a confined space, which could easily be the case with the transport. So, kinda up to you if you want the hit causing Blast damage to only 1 passenger per 2 advantage or going with the much more effective 2 advantage causes Blast to everyone in the transport?

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Short answer: Mechanically, it does nothing. It also does virtually nothing in a space fight because Blast extends to Short on the Personal-scale. It’s more about fortifications, mass troop formations, and troops formed around a vehicle (such as the clones we see walking beside an AT-TE at various points, such as the First Battle of Geonosis).
Short answer part two: I don’t suggest using overpressure to affect those inside.

Anti-vehicle weaponry works on basically 2x2 principles: Penetration/damage, and mechanical/personnel damage.

Example: you shoot an AP round at a tank. It penetrates the armor and kills the crew. You’ve effectively made the tank combat ineffective, even if it isn’t so damaged that it can’t be remanned (e.g. the gun still works and the engine still runs).
Alternatively, you shoot an AP round and it takes out the engine, but doesn’t do much to the crew. You’ve effectively reduced the tank’s combat effectiveness, even though the crew is still alive (and you still have to worry about the gun).

Solid shot works through penetration and spalling, killing the crew with shrapnel. Even if it doesn’t penetrate, it can create fracturing inside the vehicle, similar in concept to blowout if you were to snap a board in half.
HE works through creating a powerful shockwave, which can kill the crew inside through overpressure. Armor dramatically reduces this effect.
(That’s the nutshell. It’s more complicated than that.)

What you’re talking about in this case is basically an APHE round, which is designed to penetrate and then detonate, dealing damage by EITHER embedding into the armor and doing more structural damage than if the direction of the blast wave was perpendicular to the armor, OR by penetrating and detonating inside of the target, dealing explosive damage to exposed personnel and components (while venting atmosphere, if in vacuum).

I’m rambling again, sorry…

I have a houserule where if Breach is in excess of Armor, it penetrates the hull, creating a breach. I posted about it elsewhere on the forum and the details are in my space combat doc under “Optional Rules.”

Blast affecting those inside the vehicle is an interesting idea, but the implementation would be difficult. For example, if you simply apply Blast straight, then a concussion missile will instantly knock out any ship or vehicle small enough to be within the radius (the radius of Planetary-scale Blast is Short on the personal scale, whereas Personal-scale weapons, unless otherwise mentioned, have a radius of Engaged). And if you want to actually apply radii to the calculation, you have to not only know the size of the target but where the target was hit, and that brings up its own complications.

With a missile tube, you really aren’t going to be able to overpressure an Imperial shuttle, Sentinel or Lambda. Not only do they have shields and thick armor for spacefaring, but the troop compartment is insulated on both sides by external storage. The shockwave would be marginal by the time it got into the troop compartment. If memory of the mechanics serves me, the larger internal space also fights against you.

However, with an ITT, AT-ST, etc., you just might. If the ITT is locked up tight so the shockwave can’t well escape (if memory serves, soldiers would sometimes open hatches in heavily mined areas so that the blast waves would escape more easily… I could be mistaken), then overpressure in such a confined space is an option.

It is necessary to discuss the rules generally, though, since a rule that works in one situation may be hopelessly broken in another.

If you want to apply Blast damage to the passengers, I would ignore Breach, considering it “already applied” and instead reduce the damage by both the vehicle’s Armor and the individuals’ Soak.
If Breach equals or exceeds Armor, then I’d be willing to say that the missile goes in and detonates, killing everyone in the compartment. In my houserule, I make it 2 Advantage or a Triumph to penetrate, dealing more than external/structural damage.

In this situation, with these rules, a missile tube wouldn’t cut it. Missile tubes are really for soft targets and masses of infantry, not armored targets. While in theory intended to allow characters to tangle with vehicles, it really does not bridge the gap.

Worth noting in addition to this that “hits” on starfighters are likely proximity bursts more than direct hits, since a direct hit would obliterate a starfighter. Consider modern missile combat, which operates virtually identically to what I described.

I’m very rambley today, probably due for a reboot. I hope this is useful and not too incoherent.

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I believe he was speaking of the speeder Imperial Troop Transport, not a shuttle or starship.

ETA: But doesn’t really change anything since it’s still vehicle scale.

For “AP” rounds I would solve the issue by not giving them Blast at all. They are just big, very fast bullets. For exploding HE style weapons with Blast, you could always require a Critical for the Blast to occur inside the vehicle as opposed to outside if you don’t believe the classic RPG could make a blast affect inside easily.

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Yes, I believe he was, so I specifically addressed it. I can’t remember why I was talking about the shuttle, I think I had a reason, but I may have just been rambling.

AP wouldn’t have Blast.

As for HE, a crit is too easy. When you consider what is required for the Blast to occur inside the vehicle, its “real” effects surpass the mechanical effect of the attack. If you just mean for Blast to affect the people inside the vehicle, it’s less problematic, but still probably too strong. For example, it could be a weapon without Breach. Does the explosion blow a hole in the ship? Does the shockwave simply transfer through? How much damage does it deal? Full Blast, or Blast reduced by Armor?

There are ways to answer these questions and I did in my previous post, but I’m not sure how your approach answers them.

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My take on this would be a very much, movie physics/rule of cool approach.
If you get enough advantage to trigger blast, and enough extra for the PCs to ask if they can hit the troops inside then Yes, and:
The troops inside benefit from the armour of the vehicle.
So using the example of the Rocket Tube; Blast 10, Breach 1. Fired against an Armour 2 vehicle, then unfortunately that is still not enough to hurt them. Against a softer target though :smiling_imp:

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Thank you all for the very detailed and insightful answers!

I too myself came to the conclusion that Missile Tube is not enough.
Unfortunately I don’t have too many books, but is there anything on this line? I’m basicly looking for some portable anti-vehicle, anti-air weapons for infantry. That would be limited useage (Limited Ammo), but able to do serious damage to armored vehicles, maybe scare off air speeders.
Let’s gear those rebels! :smiley:

Shaped Thermal Grenade (Dam 20, Breach 2) is really the only one that’s any stronger than a missile tube, and that’s only good against ground vehicles.

This system really lacks any kind of infantry anti-armor, unless the target is relatively unarmored. This fits with its WWII-comparable setting, where anti-armor technology was relatively nascent and frequently ineffective. However, even so, it was capable of taking out the tanks that made up the backbone of the various armies.

There are several homebrew solutions to this issue, such as MANPAD Hailfire missiles or buffed “AP” ammo for missile tubes, but nothing in the RAW.

Making an “anti-armor” rather than “general-purpose” missile launcher would be the simplest solution.

Shaped charge, so remove Blast, increase Breach. Meant to target vehicles, so +1 Difficulty against targets below Silhouette 2.

MandalMotors “Beviin” Anti-Armor System: Dam 2; Crit 4; Range: Extreme; Enc: 8; HP: 3; 12,000/9; Breach 3, Guided 2, Limited Ammo 1.
Special: +1 Difficulty against targets smaller than Silhouette 2. Additional ammo costs 500 credits per missile. Except for the Range, this weapon uses Planetary Scale.

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One of the basic adjustments I and others have made is to simply use a x5 adjustment to damage instead of x10. This gives things like the Missile Tube (the weapon that helped down an AT-ACT, 20 personal damage, 4 vehicle damage) and Heavy Repeater (the weapon that shot at the Falcon, 15 personal damage, 3 vehicle damage) some chance to damage vehicles like we’ve seen on screen.

Some things that make this make sense for me. The Heavy Repeater, by description, seems quite like the Autoblaster which does 3 damage at vehicle scale. Thus, you could just consider the two different descriptions of similar weapons adjusted for scale (3x5 = 15). With x5 we can have Blasters stand a chance at harming civilian speeders (again seen on screen) without them having much of a chance at hurting combat vehicles which have increasing levels of Armor.

At x5 a speeder bike or civilian landspeeder with Armor 0 can be damaged by blaster fire with reasonable chances to stop one in its tracks (with x10, the speeder bike can typically drive through a hail of blaster fire unless there is a lucky shot, which is not what we see on screen). Example: Blaster Pistol damage 6, equates to 1 damage on vehicle scale, Armor 0 soaks none of that. A speeder bike only has Hull Threshold of 2, so a couple Blaster Pistol hits will stop one with a lucky Critical possibly making it go boom, which we’ve seen on screen.

At x5 a civilian speeder truck with Armor 1 could toss off most blaster fire, but it could still be slowly beat down. Example: Blaster Rifle 9 damage, equates to 10 or 11 typically, adjusted down to 2 damage, Armor soaks up 1. It has a Hull Threshold of 10. Thus, a large amount of Blaster Rifle hits (around 10) could stop one if a lucky critical doesn’t do it sooner.

At x5 an Imperial Troop Transport is shot at by a Blaster Rifle probably doing 2 damage at vehicle scale if it hits. The ITT has a Soak of 2. No affect. No chance of Critical since there was no damage dealt. But, if you pull out the Missile Tube it has 20 damage and Breach 1. A typical hit will do 4 damage on vehicle scale. Breach 1 ignores one point of vehicle Armor, this 3 damage on a hit. The ITT has a Hull Threshold of 15. That’s 5 typical Missile Tube hits to stop it, but with a CR of only 2, one hit with 2 advantage can deal it a critical. Thus, ITT’s can drive through Blaster fire, but still be worried about Missile Tubes, as they should be. An ambush of 5 Rebels with Missile Tubes stand a pretty good chance of stopping an ITT in the first round. Compare to x10: Missile Tube does 2 damage at vehicle scale, 1 left after Armor/Breach. That’s 15 missile hits to stop one unless a critical is rolled.


Yeah I understand the WW2 parallel. I like the homebrew weapon but why extreme range? Why not keep it totally planatery scale and give it close. 1 less rule

(I used the phrase “MANPAD” carelessly in my prior post. Technically, it refers to Man Portable Air Defense)

As far as I am aware, there are no personally used weapons that have ranges beyond Extreme. (There is one with Planetary-scale damage, the Baradium Charge).

Part of the choice of Extreme range simply comes down to controllability, not just the maximum distance you can get a weapon to go. Hence “effective range.” Close range goes out to “several kilometers” in the RAW, 1.5 kilometers/1 mile in my houserules. Though, now that I think of it… (does a quick check) the Javelin has an effective range that would fit with Close range in my houserule system. In RAW, it’s well short of the far reaches of Close.

The best argument I see for giving it Close is to make it a MANPAD, but it’s really specifically an anti-armor system. If we were to create an anti-air weapon, it would likely have Close range.

Giving it Close is certainly viable, though I personally would not. Engagements with personnel should happen within Personal-scale range bands. Extreme range can be treated as going out to about a kilometer, or further, if desired, giving you a lot of space for packing in vehicles, troops, etc. Introducing Planetary-scale ranges into Personal-scale encounters is a rather fraught concept. Additionally, combat ranges in this system are significantly compacted, so I don’t have any concerns about this having that effect. For example, engagements with “slugthrower” rifles would regularly be carried out at what this system considers “Extreme” range, and certainly within Long range, which is beyond the “range” of many slugthrowers in this system.

Well when you have vehicles and persons in the same encounter it’s already done.
But I understand. Might just change it to a speeder truck with equipped auto blaster as a guerilla anti air vehicle. Like those infamous Toyotas

No, it doesn’t have to be. Vehicles can operate on Personal-scale range bands. When I run mixed combats, I put all of the ranges in Personal-scale. Vehicles can move very far very quickly (in the RAW), and can cover anywhere within Close range in one movement at any speed, meaning that they can move wherever around the battlefield they want. If I’m going to have a vehicle in a mixed combat operating with Planetary-scale range bands, then it’s probably more of a set piece than an active participant, and likely filling some kind of artillery role.

Just because vehicles are Planetary-scale doesn’t mean they have to use Planetary-scale range bands. In my houserule system, I make mixed combats more doable by limiting vehicles to moving a number of Personal-scale range bands equal to their speed, like a tank crawling along at Speed 1 with infantry behind it, or a speeder bike moving at Speed 2 and crossing the battlefield in just two rounds.

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